Riding hard for the freaks and band geeks in the Upper Midwest, Little Lizard's third studio album Big Lizard was originally conceived as a farewell to their hometown of Minneapolis, MN. Hit with the trifecta of the pandemic, local turmoil due to police violence, and an uncertain future Lizz D and Shea Drenkow abandoned their plans of moving East and doubled down on their commitment to their city. Let's be real, a funk punk duo like Little Lizard couldn't have formed anywhere other than the land of Prince, Hüsker Dü, and the actual “Funkytown” itself. With this revelation the rest of Big Lizard fell into place. Blending the infectious melodies of their first album Premium Vanilla with the dueling synthesizers of their second Earthlings Little Lizard pays homage to their roots while creating a forward looking sound without skimping on the trombone and bass.
From its melodic hooks to its danceable rhythms, not to mention its elevated sound quality thanks to Jason at The Terrarium in Minneapolis, everything about Big Lizard is meant to pull you in. Opening with the bass and drum intro of “Lyndale” Little Lizard cranks the energy levels up to 11 with a fuzzed out looping trombone section followed by a danceable arpeggiated synthesizer groove. Stepping away from the instrumental with the extra sweet vocal samples on “Super Cute” the duo treads into new territory with the full blown hip-hop track “SF”. Featuring the lightning fast rhymes of Twin Cities rapper Love, Ulysses “SF” is a psychological adventure reminiscent of Aesop Rock and Tobacco's collaboration Malibu Ken. Stretching their own funk punk boundaries Little Lizard puts the brass in the backseat on “Snow Bikes” reaching instead for a synthesizer triple-threat of bell tone analog synthesizer, squealing FM synthesizer, and Lizz D's reverb soaked theremin. Closing out with a requiem for lost friends and loved ones “Ripper” is a building ostinato that grows into a cacophony of fuzz bass, synthesizer, and trombone loops meant to remind us to keep on ripping through this life.
SF feat. Love, Ulysses
Vocals? Little Lizard does one better with rapid-fire rhymes from rapper Love, Ulysses on “SF”. Following a surreal narrative of neighborly paranoia, wizards, woolly mammoths, and Aesop Rock LU's flow melds perfectly with Lizz D's punchy bass and Shea's upper register trombone. Dropping down to just bass the trio builds a sing-along chorus over step-sequenced synthesizer. If you're still wondering what this song is about we have Love, Ulysses here to clear things up, “Bruh highkey it was you telling me the song was called SF. Lmaooo like I'm into skateboarding and stuff so instantly I thought of bombing hills in San Francisco. I didn't think I could make a full song about that, so I wanted the lyrics go downhill in figurative way! Allegories and such.” There you have it! “SF feat. Love, Ulysses” is the second single from Little Lizard's upcoming album Big Lizard on Guilt Ridden Pop.
Little Lizard thinks “You're Super Cute!” And it only takes one listen to their new single to prove it. Sticking to their trombone laden, bass-heavy funk punk the duo also dishes out cutesy complements on “Super Cute”. Snappy, sweet, and upbeat the tune makes a dramatic turn in the middle with an extended synthesizer build and adorable vocal sample affirmations. Now you're ready to take on the world. So go get'm! “Super Cute” is Little Lizard's first single from their upcoming album Big Lizard coming soon on Guilt Ridden Pop.
“Carl's Chuckwagon”, the new single from Minneapolis funk punk duo Little Lizard, is a disco adjacent bop celebrating bizarre food. Layered like a delicious sandwich the track is flavored by intertwining trombone and bass over a conga heavy beat. Cut with synthesizer stabs and a lightly phased bassline the duo chews on this groove before adding new flavors into the mix. Like a layer of cotton candy and chocolate sauce Shea Drenkow takes things in a sweeter direction with a chordal synthesizer phrase that drops down to let Lizz D's upper register bass be the sprinkles on top. Satisfying until the last bite “Carl's Chuckwagon” creates a unique flavor sensation with a pleasant aftertaste that will keep you coming back for more.
Little Lizard's single “Crunchy” is a sonic snack with a funk punk flavor blast. Starting with an 808 kick and a spicy bass lick the duo savors the heat with bugle call trombone. Balanced out by a salty sweet combination of analog and digital synthesizers Little Lizard chews through a soaring bass and drum machine groove. Cooling down with a brass bridge the flavor sticks with an extended synthesizer section until the end. So open your ears and take a bite out of “Crunchy”.
Earthlings, the second LP from funk punk duo Little Lizard, blasts off on a funky flying saucer ride. Inspired by their love for classic Sci-fi and cheesy Horror movies Lizz D. and Shea Daniel have created a soundtrack to their very own extraterrestrial adventure. Built on 808 beats and cutting basslines Little Lizard has expanded their minimalist instrumentals with more synthesizer, more vocal samples, and both members on brass. Intergalactic and highly danceable Earthlings isn't just an escape to the stars but a reflection on our relationship to one another and the planet.
Opening with a demand via vocoder “Take Me to Your Leader” sets the tone for Earthlings with Lizz D.'s funky bass over a metallic beat. Punctuated by Shea Daniel's electrified trombone and digital synthesizer the duo kicks into warp drive with Lizz D. switching to trumpet for a doubled brass break. Shifting gears Little Lizard goes full ballad on the title track “Earthlings”. But in true funk punk fashion changes style halfway through trading swelling synthesizer and a melancholy groove for a double-time fanfare with looping trombone. Not stopping there both members redefine their roles in “Ghost Shows” with Shea holding down the bass while Lizz D. takes the melody on trumpet and solos on theremin. Finishing on a high note, “Chrome” is a trombone and bass forward number rounded out with sparkling analog synthesizer and fuzzed out bass.
In the quest to further their funk punk sound Little Lizard has enlisted the help of fellow Minnesota musicians Nat Harvie and Mickey Breeze to put their spin on the duo's latest release Earthlings. Remixing “Earthlings” and “Take Me to Your Leader” respectively, both artists defied expectations by using resampling to create completely new arrangements dripping in their own musical styles. Surprisingly cohesive, Mickey Breeze's dance floor ready “Take Me to Your Leader (Remix)” and Nat Havrie's ambient “Earthlings (Remix)” add an entirely new dimension to Little Lizard's brass and bass instrumentals.
Take Me to Your Leader (Mickey Breeze Remix)
DJ, emcee, producer, and educator Mickey Breeze is nothing short of a true prodigy. Excelling in music since age 5, Breeze is a 10x beat battle champion and accomplished producer, composer, and performer. Never just hitting play Breeze describes himself as a freestyle DJ incorporating finger drumming beats, synthesizer melodies, and improvisation into his live performances. Approaching Little Lizard's “Take Me to Your Leader (Remix)” the same way Breeze turns the track into a thumping, Hip-Hop inspired dance beat. Refocusing the track around the repeating “take me to your leader” vocoder vocal sample Breeze layers a new melody over a chunky bassline, bubbling synthesizer, and finger drumming beats. Not stopping there Breeze gives the remix it's own momentum with swelling chords and a shredding synthesizer solo that groove well past the slow fade.
Earthlings (Nat Harvie Remix)
Minneapolis songwriter and recording artist Nat Harvie effortlessly oscillates between folk and ambient/experimental music to create their diverse and compelling body of work. Matching Little Lizard's minimal instrumentals Nat begins their “Earthlings (Remix)” with a shimmering drone. Slowly joined by resampled synthesizer, bass, and drums they carefully rebuild and reframe the track pushing the trombone to the back and shifting the beat. Resulting in an evolving ambient banger Nat Harvie's “Earthlings (Remix)” washes over you like an icy Lake Superior wind.
From start to finish Premium Vanilla, the debut LP from Little Lizard, immerses you in a psychedelic brass band daydream full of analog synth, funky bass, and boom bap drum machine beats. Set on capturing themselves in true form the Minneapolis duo flew to Brooklyn, NY to lay down nine zany tracks starring the trombone and electric bass. Naming their instrumental creation “Funk Punk” Little Lizard draws from electro, dub, hip-hop, and 70s soundtracks to produce a lighthearted sound focused on good vibes and getting your boogie on.
Coming out blazing with “Greetings”, a wall of reverb feedback gives way to a funky little groove setting the tone for the album. Bouncing from 8-bit synth to plunger mute trombone on “The Flipper” and jungle samples on “Rainforest Romp” Premium Vanilla is an uptempo adventure that walks a thin line between whimsical and insane. Not all sunshine and rainbows darker themes find their place in the harpsichord-like synth and fuzz bass of “Which Witch” and the melancholy trombone of “Sunburnt”. Not letting up until the last track, “Vienna” is a downtempo number employing dreamy synth and smooth bass lines that are peachy keen to the last drop.